Hornsby on the Rebound
Hornsby on the Rebound
Council Amalgamations Hornsby – on the rebound – after its marriage proposals were rebuffed!
Under the NSW Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ process all Council’s have to complete a self assessment against a set criteria by June 30, 2015. A Fit for the Future council is one that is
Sustainable, Efficient, and Effective in managing infrastructure and community services, and
has the Scale and Capacity to engage effectively across community, industry and government.
“Hornsby Council missed the Scale and Capacity test, essentially a population measure, being 114,000 short of the required 280,000. Council’s plan to address this situation was to merge with Ku-ring-gai or The Hills or both.
The reaction to Hornsby’s advances has been a mixture of ‘we don’t need you’ and ‘we don’t want you’. The Hills Council has the scale and capacity to stand alone into the future, but in supporting the reform of the local government sector covets Hornsby’s rural areas and the suburbs of Cherrybrook, West Pennant Hills, Carlingford and Epping. Ku-ring-gai Council, although also failing the Scale and Capacity test, have determined that a merger would be highly unfavourable for its residents and ratepayers and assert that they have the appropriate plans in place to stand alone.
So where does this leave Hornsby?
Hornsby Council apparently has financial strength and sustainability and is unique in terms of size, geography and mix of urban/rural/bushland – but all this seems insufficient to consider standing alone.
At its June meeting Council resolved to put to the Government that, if they decided to force a merger, then Government should consider a series of boundary changes, and include within the boundaries of a new merged ‘Hornsby ‘ Council :
all the areas currently in Hornsby Shire
part of Carlingford currently within the Parramatta council area
parts of Eastwood currently within the Parramatta and Ryde council areas
part of Epping currently within the Parramatta council area, and
the suburbs of Marsfield & Macquarie Park currently under Ryde council.
But where does the Hornsby community stand on this proposal?
Will Hornsby residents be assured of an equitable share of rate monies, if in a larger council there are significant variations in property values?
Will the flood of home units increase as a larger Council struggles with increased housing targets while preserving the “favoured” areas of previous Councils?
Will services such as local ‘town planning’ improve within in a larger Council?
Please tell what you think about council amalgamation via ‘Contact Us’ on the Website.